Empowering & Equipping for Christmas
We are part of an amazing partnership with the villages of Ogoloi, Bukedea and Ongongoja in Uganda. The aim is to empower and equip the orphans and their families of these communities as they touch our lives and forever change us in return. Ultimately, we want to move communities from surviving to thriving and then succeeding. There are a number of things that contribute to the success that the communities are having, and one of those areas is the microfinance loan program. Not familiar with microfinance? Community members pool their finances to provide a community fund, which allows access to loans for small businesses and emergencies and is a vehicle for the community members to invest money.
We have been able to see Ogoloi, one of these villages who was fighting for survival, turn the corner and begin to thrive and succeed. Some of the community members in Ogoloi, about 65, started their own microfinance loan program. The people who have chosen to join the program meet once a week and each member contributes to the communal fund. This money is available to any of the members as they have need. They are able to take a loan against the communal fund and then pay interest on that loan. This interest goes back into the communal fund which keeps the fund growing.
We heard awesome stories of people being able to buy more seed to plant crops, pay school fees, and provide for emergency expenses with these funds. In general, repayment rates with community microfinance loans run between 96-98% (which is already impressive). But in Ogoloi, they have had a 100% repayment rate, due to their tight-knit community. Members of the community are working toward having a social safety net to provide for local needs as well as access to loans. The other important aspect is the pride of being able to supply for the community’s own needs while saving resources for the future. In addition, access to loans empowers members to start up small businesses of their own.
Over the Christmas season, we are raising funds for Bukedea to start up their own microfinance loan program and for Ogoloi to continue to grow theirs. A portion of the money we raise goes toward business training and, in Bukedea, specific training for individuals to learn the concept of the loan program so that they can bring it to their community, initiate the program, and keep it successful. We are so pumped to see these villages continue to benefit from implementing such an empowering program, which will continue to equip their people to move from surviving to thriving and ultimately, succeeding. If you are interested in learning more about giving to this project or to donate now, click on the link below.